Thomas Tuchel made a piece of history this week, becoming the first Chelsea manager to reach Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup finals, and the fact he has done it all inside a year would suggest he is on course to become one of the club’s greats.
But what if he cannot win the Premier League? Already 10 points behind leaders Manchester City, anything less than a victory over Pep Guardiola’s team on Saturday lunchtime would effectively end Tuchel’s hopes of doing so this season.
Guardiola is on course to win his fourth League title in five seasons at City and his status as one of the club’s greatest-ever managers is secure, but the absence of a Champions League success is a significant gap in the Spaniard’s long list of achievements with the club.
Tuchel took four months to win the Champions League for only the second time in Chelsea’s history, beating Guardiola’s City in Porto, but would he always feel a sense that something important was missing if he did not lift the League title with the Blues?
“Me personally? If we weren’t now sitting in a press conference, I would say ‘yes’! It would be like ‘argh, we should have, argh’. I don’t know if we can do it in the 18 months (of my contract) or whatever, it depends on many factors. But, yes, yes, I have the desire to win the Premier League with Chelsea. A clear yes.
“Will I be unhappy for the rest of my life if we cannot make it? Maybe not, but I would be absolutely furious with myself if we didn’t try.”
Tuchel was awarded a two-year contract extension for winning the Champions League, which means, under the terms of his present deal, the German will also have next season to try to win the League title.